Jan 13 2014

Giant squid caught by net fisherman off Japan

A story published Thursday about a monstrous radioactive squid discovered on a Southern California beach was an obvious hoax.

But this past week off Japan, an actual giant squid was captured in a fisherman’s net and died after it was hauled to the surface.

The squid in the hoax story was said to be 160 feet long and its immense size was blamed on radiation being leaked into the Pacific in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“Alarms sound over radioactive gigantism,” screamed a headline above a story that featured a photoshopped image and quoted experts who do not exist.

Though some believed the story, fabricated by the Lightly Braised Turnip website, it was easily debunked.

But the capture of an actual giant squid Wednesday off Sadogashima Island is more believable, even though squid captures are exceedingly rare.

According to the Japan Times, the male specimen measured about 12 feet and weighed about 330 pounds. The accompanying Japanese-language video shows the creature on display and being measured by scientists (footage of the squid being pulled to the boat begins at the 1-minute mark).

Giant squid are elusive creatures that occupy the dark ocean depths. They’re believed to have spawned sea monster myths among ancient mariners, and have been featured as predatory beasts in novels and films.

They can measure to about 40 feet and weigh nearly a ton.

Read the full story here.

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